So here's the thing. I work in Team A and there's a new team member (X) in Team B. Since A-B teams work together this means that I have to work along with X.

Now X is a very "competitive" person. And he's been misbehaving with me.

The Background

  • He was a friend of mine before he joined Team B.
  • Before joining he asked me for a detailed Knowledge-Transfer on the product. He kept on pleading so I gave him a KT even though I was under intense work pressure. I wasn't even obligated to teach him but only did so on grounds of friendship.
  • It was the last milestone for us so things where very hectic for me. In spite of it I gave him a 1 1/2 hour KT.
  • Now after joining the team X told the boss that he won't trouble me for a KT and instead he will learn things on his own. I felt that it was unethical of him to not give me any credit for the KT which I had given but I let it pass since I wasn't present when this discussion happened.

The recent event: I was sitting at my workspace when X comes up and asks me a query about something. I look into it and casually ask him "Hey, didn't I give you a KT on this?" Meanwhile I open the product in order to reach the location so that I can explain it to him, if required. And X explodes at me saying "what KT?? What have you taught me?"

It felt rude because my colleagues and juniors were nearby. So I reminded him of the past two KTs that I had given and he said "What did you teach? Just half-an-hour session you took. What did you teach?"

Qs: What is the correct way to deal with this kind of behavior? I feel that:

  • It's rude because of the high tone.
  • It feels insulting to me because he's doing it in front of my colleagues and juniors
  • It feels inhuman. I did give him a KT (it's mentioned in my personal task list history) and not only is he denying it, he's passive aggressive.

What I've already done:

Expressed surprise and reminded him about it. But he's not admitting it.

I also told him that I would explain it again if he wants. I don't have a problem with explaining it but was just asking him casually because it came up on my mind.

I did explain the feature to him again anwyay.. AFTER he shouted at me.

Adding a little perspective about X:

  • After joining Team B, X informed his boss that he's not going to take a KT from me. Instead that he will learn things "on his own". In the meanwhile he keeps pinging me on chat every now and then with questions and I always reply to those too.

  • X has been whispering to his boss that "none of these people" under him are working. If anyone checks their personal mails or takes a break X complains immediately. A few colleagues nearby have heard his speech on multiple occasions.

  • has started ordering his colleague rudely even though he's new and the colleague has more experience than him, and they're both the same designation.

Edit: Removed off-topic statements.

  • 4
    I'm not sure this qualifies as a on-going behavior that needs to be "fixed." He simply asked you about something you worked on. You then passively aggressively told him he should already know and you assume since he purposely dismissed mentioning you helping him then it means he must be a bad person. You're basing your behavior on an assumption, not actual facts. – Dan Sep 27 '16 at 16:33
  • Knows like you have some issues....to work out. – Donald Sep 28 '16 at 1:27
  • @WorkerDrone I did not dismissively tell him that. I only asked it casually and was opening the product meanwhile. Even if he had said "yes you did" I would have explained it either way. Dismissing someone's question with another question would be very rude and not something that I would do. I've updated my question to provide some context on his behavior. Sorry if it wasn't clear initially. I did explain it to him anyway, even though he shouted at me in front of others. – Mugen Sep 28 '16 at 2:20
  • @WorkerDrone Yes I did call my boss an idiot. When I'm checking my gmail he comes up behind me and reads them, if I have to take a leave then he digs in to a lot of details personal details about why I want the leave, he's happy with the quality of work that I do so he pushes a lot more work on my plate while my colleague doesn't have enough work. My colleague directly told me that he's getting bored because he doesn't have enough work so it's not just "an opinion". If I surf a little to take a break he comes up immediately to my desk and asks me the status (yes he monitors all our desks).. – Mugen Sep 28 '16 at 2:25
  • @WorkerDrone If I get up and go to the lobby for a break then he follows me there and then promptly assigns me more tasks. If I speak to any colleague on the floor (around 2-5 minutes), then he quickly approaches and starts demanding what we're talking about. There's a lot more that I'm going through with him. So yes, he's an idiot and I've suffered under him. But I realize now that my calling him an idiot was off-topic because people wouldn't understand the pains of working with him without meeting him. He has a nickname BTW (which I heard from colleagues) - RAT. – Mugen Sep 28 '16 at 2:30

Well, I think that first of all, you should be thankful that this person has revealed their true attitude to you now, rather than later, when it could actually hurt you.

It seems like this "friend" of yours is trying to make a splash and impress everyone, and sees admitting that he's received help from you as some kind of smear on his reputation.

His attitude when you brought up your help shows extreme immaturity, aggressiveness, and a general lack of morals which should be just about enough to tell you that you should keep your distance from him.

Make sure that any help you provide him with is thoroughly documented, so that he can't claim credit for any of your ideas in the future. Also watch your back - if he sees you as a threat he sounds like the kind of person who would not hesitate to ruin your reputation.

As for how to deal with this particular incident? If you feel that your personal relationship still warrants some measure of respect and effort, I'd go up to him and explain that his behavior is unacceptable, and that you will not tolerate being spoken to in that tone of voice. Remind him that you did him a favor, and that his attitude is out of line.

If, however, you feel that he's crossed a line - and I believe he did - you should request a one-on-one with your manager and detail the situation to him, explaining that you won't tolerate being yelled at in the office, and that something needs to be done.

If your boss ignores you, or doesn't take action, I would go to HR and detail the problem to them. Keep in mind, however, that this will definitely end your "friendship" with "X".

  • 2
    This is a very insightful post. When you mentioned "ruining people's reputation" I remembered how he spreads false rumors about people sometimes. He's always gossiping and asking people their salaries and increments. And when you say "lack of morals" it just fits-in in multiple places. The easy-quick-lies manner, the trying-to-impress everyone around. Do check out the "Adding a little perspective about X" section that I've added to my question today morning. I feel that your answer fits in perfectly. – Mugen Sep 28 '16 at 2:52
  • 2
    @Mugen - glad you found it useful. Unfortunately this sort of behavior is more or less a stereotype that you'll end up running into every once in a while. The best way to deal with these sort of people is to keep them at arm's length and come down on them like a ton of bricks when they get uppity with you. Don't do them favors, always document your interactions with them (sending them files which they might later claim were poorly done, etc.), and always call them on their BS as soon as it happens. In your example of a loud and public altercation immediately rebuke him, then go to management. – AndreiROM Sep 28 '16 at 13:05
  • And remember Mugen, this is NOT really a friend.. just a user. – user90842 Feb 15 '19 at 19:42

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